While the draw of easy, laid-back minimalism is undeniable, we can’t help but be excited by the statements on the New York Fashion Week runways. From vivid color statements to fresh takes on ’90s beauty, this spring 2024 season was artful, yet approachable. And lucky for us, recreatable. Get inspired by browsing the spring beauty trends that dominated the week, below.
Refined Cat Eye
At shows like Alice + Olivia, the tried-and-true cat eye got a sexy, yet refined makeover. “This season, we created a modern-day icon inspired by the swans of the ’60s,” says Stacey Bendet, CEO and creative director of Alice + Olivia, who worked alongside makeup artist and Too Faced executive director of global beauty, Elyse Reneau, to craft the look. “We wanted a look that felt feminine and fierce! We used an elegant double-lined black and white eye, a nod to the black and white belle of 1966.”
We also loved the look from the LaQuan Smith show, where Sheika Daley, a key makeup artist for Lancôme, crafted a unique negative-space design. “I call it the date night look,” says Daley. “We left a little negative space on the inner corners for some beautiful sparkle, and lashes really help to elongate that liner and make it look really full, fluffy, and butterfly-looking.”
Balletcore looks — think dance slippers, bodysuits, and leg warmers — blew up this year, and now we’re seeing the effects above the neck. At the Christian Siriano show, the models donned shimmery, baby pink beauty hues courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury’sUptown Girl Luxury Palette. To carry these colors to the nails, the models wore Essie’s Gel Couture in Polished & Poised as a base with a coat of Birthday Girl for shimmer. For that final touch, hair was adorned with lace-up ribbons.
Similar pink hues were used to create the looks for Son Jung Wan and LoveShackFancy. For the latter, “We created an ethereal look [for] the skin, with washes of shimmer and pinks in the eyes and cheeks,” says Amy Conway, Bobbi Brown global pro artist. “We completed the look with Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint, which just gave each girl the most perfect pink lip that complemented their skin tone.”
Inspired by ’90s supermodel nostalgia, Raoúl Alejandre gave the models at Luar bronzy skin, tightlined eyeliner, and ombré brown lips using MAC lip liner in shades Chestnut and Cork topped with Squirt Plumping Gloss Stick in Like Squirt and Simulation.
At the Tibi show, “the beauty look was a lived-in look, almost 90’s vibe,” says Bobbi Brown global pro artist Cassandra Garcia. “I added a touch of Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Cinnamon under the eye with a bit of mascara to balance the fresh glowing skin.”
Hairstyles inspired by the ’90s also had a moment. Models at Helmut Lang sported zig-zag headbands with lengths swept back by hairstylist Jawara using Bumble and bumble products, while at Khaite, hair was pulled back into cool, textured knots by hair legend Guido Palau.
Colorful eyes are often a mainstay on spring runways. But this season, these statements were all the more imaginative. For the Mansur Gavriel show, Kanako Takase, key makeup artist for Addiction Tokyo, painted on bright pops of monochromatic color accompanied by natural, glowy skin.
We also saw vivid shadow looks at Prabal Gurung, where MAC’s director of makeup, Romero Jennings, crafted a graphic eye with turquoise blue fading into violet, and at Rachel Comey, where makeup artist Romy Soleimani used the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Luxe Eyeshadow Quad in Indigo Night to create a single abstract eye.
The beauty looks for Jason Wu were meant to make the models look like they just emerged from a shipwreck, verging right into Mermaidcore territory. “[We went for] a wet, nearly drenched appearance without sacrificing the fluid movement of the natural hair texture,” says hairstylist Jimmy Paul, who used TRESemmé products for the fresh-out-of-water effect.
The models at Anna Sui rocked similarly slick and seemingly wet lengths. “Fantasy mermaid was the inspiration for the hair,” says Garren, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of R+Co. “I wanted it to be fluid and close to the head, like a mermaid that had just come out of the water, but not too wet.”
The nail looks from the Sandy Liang show also leaned into Mermaidcore. “The look is inspired by a mermaid girl daydreaming and wandering the shore,” says nail artist Holly Falcone. “She’s collecting shells and rocks and treasures…and the crystals are ‘treasures’ she’s collected.”
Soft, Blurred Finishes
The headpieces at Gabriella Hearst nodded to the 1950s, but with a modern sensibility. So makeup artist Fara Homidi felt inspired to take a classic ’50s eye and turn it on its head. “It’s a soft, smoky brown cat eye anchored by a little bit of liquid liner just at the base so that the ends just fade out in an upward 1950s shape, but much softer,” explains Homidi.
At Ulla Johnson, Soleimani took a soft approach to the lips, using shades from Sisley Paris to create an optic, two-toned look. She used a warm terracotta on the top lip and a punchy peach on the bottom lip. “Because of the tones of the two lips, it’s more subtle than the bubblegum pink and red that you usually see with the two-tone look,” says Soleimani.